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Team Player or Top Performer?

By samson06 ·
Let's say you're in an IT group of a dozen people. About half the people are at a level above you and half are on a level below you in rank. You are one of the smartest and most productive people in the group. Let's also say that you have some skills that NOBODY else in the group has. Should you:

1) Focus on being the most productive employee that you can be. Work your a** off and complete projects ahead of schedule. Be cordial with co-workers but keep your eyes glued to the screen and put the pedal to the metal. Reveal little about your knowledge since you spent many years learning your craft. Withhold information to keep others' from competing with you. Refrain from making friends at work. Take full credit for your work.

OR

2) Teach other people the same skills that you have. Put a higher priority on establishing relationships than accomplishments. Be a people person. Focus on trusting and making friends with the people you work with. Help others develop their skills and realize their potential. Freely share information. Be a team player and allow others to take credit for your work.

Which employee would be more secure in their job and benefit in the long term?

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by GNX In reply to Team Player or Top Perfor ...

It comes down to 2 things in the work world. They (boss/owner etc) either like you or they don't. When they don't, you pop up on their radar.

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That is just

by Absolutely In reply to Most Liked

something that incompetent people tell themselves, to try to excuse their failure.

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I have to give it to you

by Too Old For IT In reply to That is just

You have compressed the combined arrogance of a Fortune 500 corporation executive team into a single sentence.

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A small part of the equation

by mike In reply to Most Liked

A good manager will remove a non-productive person whether he likes them personally or not. A person who doesn't produce or isn't a team player who costs the company $50K or more a year is still a liability whether they are likable or not. While some people can schmooze themselves into positions, that doesn't last long term.

To take a quote from "Leadership Lessons of the NAVY SEALS":

"Let it be known that you'll get rid of people who shouldn't be part of the team- even the nice people."

As I stated in my earlier post- it takes a well rounded person to be successful- one who will be productive AND a team player. Focus on only one side and you lose in the long run. Like putting gasoline in a car and ignoring the oil, you will run for a while, but eventually break down.

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Nr 1 is a risk

by JosB In reply to Team Player or Top Perfor ...

Since I am a security officer I always try to find out which people have unique skills/knowledge that could put the company or department at risk when they are involved in an accedent or leave the company.

Business should never rely on single persons, except very small companies.

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number 2

by D2KK In reply to Team Player or Top Perfor ...

I currently work in a company where the long-time employees' culture is #1. They are under the assumption that not sharing or documenting their knowledge is job security. Its an unfortunate philosophy. 1. From mgt propspect you are categorized as a risk, not a team player, not willing to grow out of your current position. 2. This is not job security or protection from downsizing. In fact, as people from outside the company move into upper mgt it will make you a target. If you learned it, somebody else can. The company may take a hit while sombebody comes up to speed if you leave but they will recover and probably implement a new, more efficient way of getting it done. 3. It will create bad will. You will eventually want to move to new, exciting projects. You will not be chosen because of the corner you've painted yourself into, but you will accuse your manager of holding you back.

If your goal is to be seen as a leader and be somebody who gets considered for that next big sexy project, you need to be sure somebody else can take over the tasks you need to give up. There is no loss of credit when you can show that you become the expert, then demonstrated leadership by training others in the work\process\whatever you created. And it looks great on your resume.

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Why only one or the other?

by zaferus In reply to Team Player or Top Perfor ...

Generally I'm 80% #1 and 20% #2 unless asked to shift. Except I don't withold knowledge EVER and document enough so that others can take over and keep things running if I go on holidays or training. I'm not so insecure that I have to worry about witholding information or documentation.

But, in our organization at least - we're judged by our performance and ability to meet objectives and the leadership is best left to the supervisors and above.

There have been projects where I've been asked to get the "pedal to the metal" and go 100% #1 for months at a time. There have been weeks when almost all I do is cross train and help others with their projects and objectives. When I do this I never look for credit and as long as my objectives are on track I find it a nice change of pace to work on something a little different.

Don't be afraid to display a little leadership when required, but also don't forget your boss is the leader of the department not you.

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Definitely both

by mgordon In reply to Team Player or Top Perfor ...

Both goals must be pursued.

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You need to be both.

by Spaedie In reply to Team Player or Top Perfor ...

A top performer would make you the know-it-all. As long as you document, no problem. If you don't, people will go angry with you.
A team player can be someone who is walked over and with that you usually forget what you learned over years, since you don't tease yourself to refine what you know.

So be a teamplayer which has the capacities to step out of the crowd. That way your boss will know your name too.

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